Five States in Australia Now Let Transgenders Edit Their Own Birth Certificates
Victoria become fifth state to allow 'gender diverse people' to change legal documents
Victoria has become the fifth state in Australia to allow transgenders and "gender diverse people" to edit their own birth certificates.
On Tuesday night, the birth certificate bill passed in the Victorian Upper House with a 26-14 vote, meaning it will be officially written into law once it receives the royal assent.
Under the new laws, transgender people will be able to change their sex on the legal documents reflect the gender they choose to identify with rather than the one they were born with.
Transgenders will be able to change their listed biological sex to match the one they use socially, even without undergoing gender reassignment surgery.
With permission from their parents, children will also be able to self-nominate to alter their gender or select a non-binary descriptor of their choice.
A statement from a psychologist or doctor will also need to accompany the submission for a minor, The Age reports.
"Interstate and international evidence shows that whilst not a large number of people take up these options, it's simply is an option that's there to people," Equality Minister Martin Foley told 3AW on Wednesday.
"Its the choice to make sure that identity documents reflect the reality of the life that people live."
According to the Daily Mail, Victoria joins Tasmania, Northern Territory, South Australia and the ACT in passing the laws.
In April Tasmania was the first state to make the inclusion on birth certificates.
Gender diversity activists took to social media to celebrate the success, which marks a significant win in the fight for transgender equality in Australia.
Attorney-General Jill Hennessy said the reforms were well overdue after the Andrews government failed to see them passed through parliament the first time in 2016.
"These overdue reforms will ensure that trans and gender diverse people can have a birth certificate which reflects their true identity," she said in a statement shared on Twitter.
"A small thing to many, but it means a world of difference to someone else."
Previously, a formal name change on a legal document like a birth certificate required undergoing gender reassignment surgery prior to approval.
"The current surgery requirement sends a painful and false message that there is something wrong with being trans or gender diverse that needs to be 'fixed' – that's why we're removing this cruel and unfair barrier."